All posts by Chelsea Girl

Branche d’Olive Fragrances For Your Home

I don’t know about you but I find that living and working in London can sometimes require the need for a sanctuary, especially if time is an issue and heading out of town isn’t an immediate option. There are some places I like to go, such as to the gym for a long swim or for a walk around my favourite museum, the V&A. But most times, there’s nothing like a long soak in the bath with my favourite aroma burning and some self-pampering products to hand.

Branche dolive lit candle

That is why I was so pleased to have been introduced to the Branche d’Olive range. When I opened the soap tray, which was sent to me to review, I inhaled the various scents of luxury in a box. And I immediately understood why I could find Branche d’Olive at Fortnum & Mason and Liberty, as well as throughout Raymond Blanc’s Michelin- starred hotel: Le Manoir aux Quat’Saison.

Branche d'Olive soap trayThe trademark fragrance, Garrigue is a refreshing combination of citrus, bergamot and lavender that remains the brand’s bestseller whilst I also like the idea of the lavender diffuser which would be perfect for the bedroom, to help me fall asleep at night.

Branche d'Olive room diffuser.

But there are other aromas to choose from, depending on your taste and need. And there are other products, such as lotions and other types of soap in the Branche d’Olive fragrance range.

Branche d'Olive hand wash

So if you are looking to treat your bathroom or bedroom to delicious scents and pampering products, sourced straight from local Provencale producers, I suggest you give Branche d’Olive a try. They would make for great gifts too.

For more information on Branche d’Olive’s gorgeous products, see their website here.

Elderflower Goodness With Bottlegreen

The first time I encountered Bottlegreen’s elderflower cordial was when I tried Grey Goose’s Le Fizz at the Grey Goose Taste By Appointment event last year. You might also remember me writing about Bottlegreen’s limited edition Breast Cancer Awareness Month Pomegranate and Elderflower cordial last year too. Well, last week I revisited Bottlegreen’s delectable offerings on the wonderful roof terrace of Belgraves Hotel. (If you haven’t checked out this hotel’s bar and terrace, I thoroughly recommend you do. It’s a veritable gem in the heart of Belgravia.)

At this event, I learned that Bottlegreen had a lot more to offer the palate than the wonderfully refreshing drink Le Fizz, which it has become well-known for in bars and clubs.

Le Fizz with Bottlegreen Elderflower

Bottlegreen’s elderflower sparkling drink is also a great accompaniment for gin. Or so my friend tells me …

Gin and Tonic with Bottlegreen

I, on the other hand, have about three or four more months of mocktails and so sipped (and thoroughly enjoyed) the pomegranate with Bottlegreen’s elderflower sparkling.

Elderflower and Pomegranate - Bottlegreen

Life can get a bit boring when you can’t drink alcohol, even when everyone is telling you that you are glowing: a lack of cocktails and vino would do that to you. ;) But at Bottlegreen’s event I really enjoyed knocking back these mocktails!

But drinks weren’t the only delights on the menu. Bottlegreen and Chef Sophie Michell also surprised us with an array of elderflower-inspired dishes.

They included various canapés, of which my favourite was the crab. All had an element of elderflower in their recipes, which complimented the fresh ingredients perfectly. Admittedly though I didn’t try the smoked salmon canapés but my friend said that it was her favourite dish of the night.

Bottlegreen

Bottlegreen

There was also the lamb with elderflower jelly, which was divine. The succulent lamb married up with the very delicate flavouring of the elderflower jelly was a perfect match.

Bottlegreen

And finally, there were desserts of which I had the jelly (twice!). Again, the flavours were surprisingly delicate and enjoyable.

Bottlegreen

Who would have thought that elderflower cordial could be included in such a variety of dishes?

Bottlegreen’s website has a range of recipes you can experiment with at home. So if you’re a dab hand in the kitchen, here they are: Cocktails, Main Dishes, and Desserts. Enjoy!

Don’t Miss in May 2013!

Who else can’t believe it’s May already? Where has the time flown? Well, it goes without saying that this is one of my favourite months of the year. With two bank holiday weekends, how can it not be? So here are my suggestions of what to do locally this month …

1. Why not kick off May with a Cinco De Mayo party at Barts this weekend?

CINCODEMAYO

2. And later this month, there’s of course Chelsea’s event of the year, The Chelsea Flower Show which will be running from 21st until 25th May. Here are some photos from two years ago and last year. Also, don’t forget that there is also Chelsea in Bloom (more photos) and Chelsea Fringe also happening this month.

3. And whilst The Chelsea Flower show is on, from Wednesday 22nd until Saturday 25th May (12pm – 8pm every day), The Botanist will be running an Oyster and Joseph Perrier Champagne Bar in Sloane Square, complete with daily performances from a string quartet. You can enjoy champagne by the glass, by the bottle, or as a cocktail.

4. The Great Gatsby will open at Curzon Chelsea on 16th May but you can buy tickets from 3rd May. I cannot wait for this film to be released and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it represents Baz Lurhmann’s return to form. Check out my post with a video interview of the director himself.

5. If you’re an aspiring designer, fashionista or budding entrepreneur, Jean Queen Donna Ida Thornton is set to hold a Careers Day on 3rd May. Donna will be available all day from 10am – 4pm to answer questions at Donna Ida Head Office near Notting Hill. Donna will be joined by a host of Donna Ida girls who will also be happy to answer any questions (including Online Content Editor Amelia Kanaris and Graphic Designer Kate Gorbunova). To join Donna and the Donna Ida girls you can visit their Head Office on Friday 3rd May from 10am – 4pm at Phoenix Brewery, 13 Bramley Road, London W10 6SP. Nearest tube is Latimer Road.

Finally, just to warn you, my posts this month will be a little thin on the ground. This month is going to be craaazzzzy. Well, maybe not that mad but enough to occupy a large chunk of my blogging time. But whilst posts trickle through in May, they will return to normal by mid-June. So keep your eyes peeled for updates on new posts on my Twitter feed or Facebook page. Enjoy May and have two awesome Bank Holidays!

Baz Lurhmann on The Great Gatsby

I have just come across this video (below) of Baz Lurhmann’s photo shoot for The Hollywood Reporter and I just had to share it. I am so so excited for this film and I really hope it is as good as Lurhmann’s best works.

To say I wasn’t keen on Australia is an understatement. I still haven’t been able to watch it ’til the end, let alone get to its halfway point.

But The Great Gatsby? It has to be good, right?

(Video link)

By the way, if you are looking to hang out somewhere that oozes inspiration from The Great Gatsby era whilst you wait for the movie to come out, why don’t you have a read of my post on The Wellesley Hotel? It is a truly gorgeous place to listen to some jazz and sip cocktails (as well as have a cigar).

Introducing Sushinho’s New Set Menu

Have you been to Sushinho yet? If not, I wholeheartedly recommend that you give this Brazilian-Japanese restaurant on the King’s Road a try.

Sushinho Chelsea - King's Road

I’ve written about Sushinho in the past and have always been a big fan of their bar. The cocktails are divine and if you can’t find what you want on the menu, you’ll feel confident when you hear the barman say “I can do that” because they generally can.

Sushinho Chelsea - King's RoadLast night however, I popped in to try their new early evening set menu. Available from 5.30pm until 7pm and costing £18 per person, the servings are designed to cater for two people at a time. The deal is that you pick five dishes from the menu and a drink, which could be a Sushinho sakerinha (saki with passion fruit); a glass of red or white wine; or a bottle of Asahi super dry.

Sushinho MenuIn anticipation of the evening, I presumed that the menu offered five small plates to share as a tasting experience for the real thing: Sushinho’s full menu. But I was wrong.

The five dishes which the bf and I chose included:

Rio house roll, which involved prawn, wasabi tobiko and strawberry. The red layer on top is strawberry jam but don’t expect anything overly sweet and do anticipate this roll to melt in your mouth with a myriad of delicate flavours.

At the moment I’m staying away from raw fish so my portion arrived without the wasabi tobiko, which the bf said added another layer of subtle flavouring. We were both bowled over by this dish.

Sushinho Chelsea - King's RoadAlso on the plate was the asparagus tempura house roll, which included red pepper, avacado, shiso, chives and carrot puree. This was another great treat and not anything like I’d tasted before.

Sushinho Chelsea - King's RoadWith three more dishes to go, I was already satisfied with the quality of the meal. But little did I know what else was to follow in terms of a great foodie experience.

Sushinho Chelsea - King's RoadTo be precise, the dishes were confit pork salad with mango, melon and burnt orange dressing;

Sushinho Chelsea - King's RoadThe Sushinho fried chicken with kimchee, pineapple and cashew nut;

Sushinho Chelsea - King's RoadAnd the pork belly with feijoada, kale and crackling. Feijoada is something like a black bean stew, which complimented the tender pork perfectly.

Sushinho Chelsea - King's RoadIn fact, all the meat involved was tender. And whilst my stand out favourite was the chicken, I enjoyed the other dishes thoroughly too.

The fusion of Brazilian and Japanese also felt refreshing. I loved having the fruit in the pork salad and I loved how all the dishes felt guilt-free because there was so much goodness in the dishes, such as the kale.

For drinks the bf enjoyed beer and tried the Sushinho sakerinha for me, which he said he liked. But I get the feeling the next time we come here he’ll try a more masculine cocktail from Sushinho’s cocktail menu which always looks really good.

Sushinho Sakerinha CocktailI, on the other, had to keep my cocktails virgin and I was not disappointed at all. My first was a lychee and lemon grass mocktail whilst the second one was a mixture of all things berries.

Sushinho Chelsea - King's RoadAt the end of the meal, we were persuaded to try Sushinho’s signature dessert dish: the passion fruit crumble. And oh my goodness, I haven’t tasted a dessert so good in ages!

Sushinho Chelsea - King's RoadWe were advised to just dig in. Don’t think about eating the dessert layer by layer. Instead get the full hit in one bite. The various layers of textures and yet more delicate flavours to savour was the perfect end to the evening.

Apparently this dish hasn’t changed in the four years Sushinho has been on the King’s Road and it really isn’t a wonder why it is so popular. The whole dessert is a complete surprise and I don’t think I want to ruin the fun for you, in case you try it.

The final note of the evening arrived on a plate with white chocolate, sorbet and a madeleine. And how the chef managed to produce sorbet encased in white chocolate left me very intrigued.

Sushinho Chelsea - King's RoadAll in all, I can’t recommend Sushinho enough. And if you’d like to give them a try, simply out of curiosity, the early evening set menu is definitely the easiest way to do it. Enjoy!

www.sushinho.com

*The food and drinks were complimentary for the purpose of the review.*